Can I compete in the UK even if I’ve already used up my NCAA/NAIA eligibility?

Great question, and great news. Yes! Even if you've used up your NCAA/NAIA eligibility, you can compete and play college sports in the UK. American eligibility restrictions carry no weight once you leave the country.

BUCS (British Universities and Colleges Sport), the British equivalent to the NCAA, has no eligibility restrictions. This means that even if you've exhausted your NCAA eligibility, played professionally, or are 100 years old, you can still play college sports legally in the UK.

What can I study in the UK?
ANYTHING. Every masters degree available in America is available in the UK. Our universities offer more than 200 different masters programs, which means you’re guaranteed to find what you’re looking for at at least one of our schools.
Will a masters degree from the UK transfer to the US?
Absolutely. Not only will a UK masters degree transfer back to the US, but it'll likely be seen as more appealing than a degree from home. Studies show that employers are valuing global experience more and more each year, and would prefer to hire an applicant who has international experience and has developed cross-cultural competence.
Will I have time to travel as a full-time masters student and athlete?
Yes, plenty of time! Your masters program will be taught in three terms, and you’ll have roughly one month off in between each term (at Christmas and Easter). You can use this time to go home for the holidays, or to stay in Europe and explore with friends. And since it only takes 2 hours to get to Paris and 1 hour to get to Dublin from your new home, weekend getaways are also a great option.
How much does it cost to get a masters in the UK compared to the US?
The average masters degree in the US costs $70,000 - $75,000 USD (tuition and living expenses included). The average masters degree in the UK costs $35,000 - $40,000 USD (tuition and living expenses included). We’re no math majors, but having the option to pay HALF the price for a degree that will be more appealing to employers, and that allows you to play your sport, AND that gives you the freedom to travel the world seems like a no-brainer to us.
Can I take out student loans to fund my education?
Yes. 99% of the students we support fund their TG Experience through US Federal Aid (Student Loans). The US Department of Education has assigned each of our universities a FAFSA School Code, which means Americans can take out US Federal Aid to go to college in the UK. US student loans can be applied to cover ALL expenses affiliated with your education, including tuition and living expenses.
Are there scholarships?
Yes, there are sport and academic scholarships available in the UK, but NO full scholarships. The scholarship amount available to you will depend on your skill level, your cumulative undergraduate GPA, and the university you choose to attend. We are very, VERY lucky in America to have the NCAA and the sport scholarships that come along with it. We ask that you remember that you’re no longer eligible for sport scholarships in America, so even if you stay local to get your masters, you will need to invest in your education. By going abroad and pursuing the TG Experience, you can experience MORE, while paying LESS.
How do I know which university will be the best fit for me?
Helping you understand which universities you should consider is our jam. Once we have our one-on-one meeting with you and learn more about your background and goals, we'll be able to make recommendations for you, or confirm whether the schools you're already considering are a good fit.
How does the level of competition in UK college sports compare to the US?
Similar to how comparing the level of competition between NCAA Divisions is not always black and white, it’s difficult to compare the level of competition across countries. Whether your sport is stronger or weaker in the UK often depends on the popularity of your sport in Europe. For example, lacrosse and American football are developing sports and may be lower level in the UK than in the US, but this would not be the case for sports like football (soccer) or rugby. No matter what sport you play, the time commitment required for your UK team will most likely be less strenuous than what your time commitment was for your NCAA team. Collegiate sports in the UK are comparable to Collegiate Club sports in America, and the environment tends to be more laid back. This, our friends, is something our TGers tend to love.
Do I need a student visa?
YES. This one is worth repeating. YES, you NEED a student visa. In fact, if you try to enter the UK without one and tell UK Customs you’re entering as a student, they’ll send you right back home. Please don’t do that… The type of visa you will need is called a Tier 4 General Student Visa, also often referred to as a Tier 4 PBS (Points Based System) visa. The application process is VERY confusing and cannot be completed in a day. The UK Visas and Immigration Home Office recommends you give yourself 2-3 months to apply for your visa. Luckily, we’ve successfully guided over 150 students through this process, and are familiar with commonly made mistakes. We'll share these with you so you can avoid them! If you try to submit an application without guidance, we promise, you WILL have questions. Customer service telephone numbers provided on the UK Visas and Immigration websites will charge you per minute, and often won’t provide you with the answers you’re seeking. As a TG student-athlete, we’ll answer all of your questions for free, and if we don't have an answer, we'll find it for you. You cannot submit a Tier 4 Student Visa application until 90 days within your start degree start date, so you must wait to submit an application until at least June. You must have a passport in order to apply for a visa.
How much does a student visa cost?
The cost of a Tier 4 General Student Visa varies based on the year and exchange rate at time of purchase. The visa for the 2018/19 academic year costs £335 GBP, roughly $470 USD (converted February 9, 2018).
Why does a masters degree in the UK take only one year?
Similar to masters degrees being shorter in the UK than in the US, bachelors degrees are also shorter. A bachelors in England takes three years, while a bachelors in America takes four. And as you’ve recently learned, a masters in England takes one year, while a masters in American takes two. This is due to differences in our education systems, NOT to a lack of related material or content. We're sure you can all think of a class you took during your undergrad that had nothing to do with your degree... Pilates, anyone? When you study in the UK, you are only studying material that is relevant to your program. You are not required to take credits that are unrelated to your degree. For example, when you study accounting in the UK, you are studying ACCOUNTING. When you study biology, you are studying BIOLOGY. This is why degrees in the UK can be completed in less time than in the US. Makes sense to us!
Can I work while studying in the UK?
You bet. You can work part-time (up to 20 hours/week) on your Tier 4 student visa.
Will I have access to health care while studying in the UK?
Yes, you absolutely will. During the online portion of your student visa application, you will be required to pay for something called an IHS (Immigration Health Surcharge). Your IHS gives you access to the NHS (National Health Service) for the duration of your masters program, plus 4 additional months (16 total months). The IHS for a full-time masters student during the the 2018/19 academic year costs £225 GBP, roughly $315 USD (converted February 9, 2018). To put this price in perspective, that would cover roughly one month of healthcare in America, which makes the IHS a great deal.
What undergraduate GPA do I need to in order to get accepted into colleges in the UK?
You must have at least a 2.5 GPA in order to be considered for our program. TeamGLEAS plays no role in the admissions process, and has no control over whether or not you will get accepted.
My cumulative GPA is weak, but my major GPA is strong. Does this help my chances of getting accepted?
Unfortunately, no. Admissions teams only take your cumulative GPA into consideration when making a decision on your application.
Does the fact that I am an athlete increase my chances of getting accepted?
No. Universities in the UK prioritize academics over athletics, and do not lower entry requirements for athletes. Your athletic talent and background will not be taken into consideration when processing your application.
How are TeamGLEAS services free?

We got into this business to encourage as many student-athletes as possible to travel abroad, not to make money, so we've found a way to make money without charging students. We believe that you deserve to keep any scholarship offers you receive because you've earned it. We also understand that many students are skeptical about this option to begin with (we were, too!), and that charging fees would prevent candidates who are initially hesitant from looking into this opportunity further.

I have a question that isn't listed here. Who can I contact?
Email your question to lindsey@teamgleas.com.